Key elements of business success are planning and decision making, which are not possible without transparency, insight and understanding. To do this you need the right business systems.
Before deciding which business systems to use its important to have a vision and a plan on how you are going to achieve your vision. Then you need to identify what type of information you are going to need in order to have a clear picture on how your business is tracking. You need to be able to easily see how your decisions affect your business performance and what changes need to be made to keep your business on track to ensure you achieve your vision.
For us this process commenced with the due diligence stage. Our research told us that before purchasing or establishing a business it is important to have a business plan. This included conducting as much research as possible on the business. The internet made this a much easier process by allowing us to conduct extensive searches. The local council provided helpful information in regards to the demographics of the area and future development plans. Obtaining accountant verified financial records from the vendors was also essential.
Conducting a SWOT analysis allowed us to identify unexploited opportunity and highlighted areas where there could be opportunity to make change for the better.
Creating a cash flow plan allowed us to ensure that the business would be profitable. With the need to obtain finance we knew that having a cash flow plan would help us to ascertain our ability to pay the loan back. This I believe is the most critical task that should be completed before purchasing or starting a business. Pleading ignorance to this step will most certainly lead to failure. Once proving that the business model would be a successful one, we had confidence that we were making the right decision.
We started our business with a vision, a plan, a bank account, a cashflow plan (budget) and a nasty loan. Identifying a system to allow us to keep track of this was the obvious next decision. Key features to us were as follows;
Access – freedom and flexibility is important to us, we have a very busy lifestyle including a busy family life, business life and we also travel a lot. So having access to our information from anywhere is crucial.
Security – we felt it important that our data was secure and always backed up. We saw it as a risk to run a system solely reliant on a single computer or server that if not backed up regularly could crash and loose our data.
Adaptability – our plans include the need to integrate as many systems within the business as possible, reducing the need for manual intervention and allowing easy access to valuable information freeing us up to spend time working on the business and making informed decisions.
Speed and ease of use – living life in the fast lane means that identifying opportunity to reduce time performing administrative tasks is essential. So a system that allows us to perform tasks quickly and easily is a must.
We identified that the best product for our purpose was MYOB AccountRight Live. Although a system that takes a bit of time to learn to use effectively, it definitely ticked all of the boxes. We implemented it to allow us to access it from any of our desktops and laptops, meaning we could access our information anywhere so long as we had the internet.
We set up our budget as per our business plan so we could access reports at any time to see how we were tracking against the budget, giving us peace of mind that we were on track.
One of our goals is to run a paperless restaurant. Meaning that the use of paper within our business operations is reduced significantly, not only having a positive effect on the environment but providing long-term benefits to our business of no storage boxes and ease of access to anything at any time. We commenced implementation of this from day one…..
Keep posted as our next blog will go further into how we are using cutting edge business systems to improve operational efficiencies and reduce risk with our business.